Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cutting a Path to the River

Scott Bradley


Have you ever driven through a town in desolate nowhere and wondered why people live there? Were we to ask them, they would likely answer because it is home and beautiful. It's all beautiful in some way and we all generally learn to love the terrain in which we grow up. For me, it's the rolling, oak-studded hills of a certain part of California.

The same applies to choices of places of inspiration. When it comes to mountains, for me, it's the High Sierra. Sure, the Rockies, the Alps, and Hindu Kush have their own special beauty, but my heart takes off looking out across a vast, open expanse of glacier-polished granite. Hiking in the Sierras, one might enter a bit of thick forest, and that has its own charms, but it's upon stepping out again into the openness that gives me the thrill.

All this is a round-about way of saying why I find Zhuangzi so inspiring. I'm still in response to Panikkar; he is like a deep forest; his every page in full of dense ideation; words from dead languages sprout everywhere; with difficulty one must cut a path through to the river. Zhuangzi, on the other hand, is like that open expanse of granite; it's all right there before you, vast but simple; you could skip on down to the river, or maybe just tumble.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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